I happened to have some FLAC files which I needed to convert to more reasonable format, in this case to .mp3. I thought that I could just search for a free converter and get the job done in instant, but as it turned out this task was not as straightforward as I had hoped for. Here are the programs I tested (first search results for “flac to mp3”) and what I discovered:

This one was the first I tried and everything went smoothly until the actual converting process started. Turns out this software only converts 50% of the files and after that requires registration – which will set you back $39.95.

🚫 One-click FLAC to MP3 Converter
Executable blocked by Windows 8 SmartScreen.

🚫 FLAC MP3 Converter – All-in-one Audio Converter
Attempts to install tons of bloatware, including some web browser toolbars and the notorious Babylon(!), and installer also wants to make changes to several other browser settings as well.

🚫 FLAC MP3 Converter
Although they claim on their website to be “100% clean and safe to install”, Windows 8 SmartScreen still blocked this one’s .exe. So I am not taking any chances with this either..

🚫 Magic FLAC to MP3 Converter
They don’t mention that their software is a trial, but it is. This one converts again just ½ of the duration of the files.

Story of the day.

Okay, at his point I got too frustrated to go on without doing some more research on the subject. Turns out you can convert audio files on all popular audio players, including Foobar2000 which I use. ✅ Jackpot! So here is quick guide how you do that:

  1. Slam your FLACs to new playlist.
  2. Select all of them, right click, and choose “convert”.
  3. Change output format to MP3 (and pick preferred quality), choose output folder and click convert.
  4. Select the location of your LAME encoder (in case you don’t have it, you can download it for free from their website) and you are done.

My task was done in seconds. Sigh, if only I have known that it would have been this easy to do and with a tool I already have..

Hope this helps, cheers!

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